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Shell Nigeria declares force majeure on Bonny Light loadings

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) has declared a force majeure for June and July 2011 on Bonny Light loadings as a result of damaged pipelines. The production deferment will affect loadings at the Bonny terminal and came into affect at 12 am on June 13th.

The force majeure was declared as a result of fires which occurred along the Trans Nigerian Pipeline (TNP), it is now thought that this damage was a result of sabotage, as hacksaw cuts were found along the pipeline. The fires started at separate locations in four separate village sin Ogoniland on June 9th.

The company’s response team immediately closed the pipeline and put the fires out by June 11th.

Vice President HSE, Infrastructure & Logistics, Shell Sub Saharan Africa, Babs Omotowa said, “The leaks and fires show a worrying trend not only on the TNP but also on our facilities elsewhere. Sadly, the trend is continuing unabated. At end April, we recorded more than 35 sabotage spills. SPDC is continuing to upgrade facilities, replace pipelines and improve oil spill response systems. But no matter how much we improve our performance, until the activities of oil thieves and illegal refiners are brought to an end, the vast majority of oil spills in the Niger Delta will continue.”

Environmental groups have repeatedly accused Shell and other operators of causing widespread pollution in the Niger Delta but Shell have pointed out that sabotage has caused 70% of leaks in the area, and attempts to replace and update aging pipeline networks have become problematic in some areas due to ongoing security problems in the country.

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